When you separate or divorce, the debts that you hold in your own name continue to be your responsibility. The debts that your spouse owns in his or her own name continue to be their responsibility. Debts that you hold jointly — that is, both of you owe money to the creditor –– continue to be the joint responsibility of both parties. However, when determining final property division on separation or divorce, the value of your debts are taken into consideration and final determination of calculation of who gets what property and/or if an equalization payment may be owed to the other.
Ken Nathens is a partner in the law firm of Nathens Siegel, a Toronto firm that restricts its practice to divorce and family law issues. Ken has experience in all aspects of divorce and Ontario family law and devotes much of his time to assisting clients with custody and access disputes.